Uncovering Life

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
Rachel was raised to believe her parents couldn't take care of her. But one day she sees her picture on a "Have you seen this girl?" ad, and she sets out to uncover her past.

Submitted: March 05, 2010

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Submitted: March 05, 2010

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My name is Rachel Cole. I never knew much about my real parents. Only that Garrett had adopted me.
I’m supposed to call him Dad, but it doesn’t feel right. He had always told me that my real parents couldn’t take care of me and had to leave me with him, but part of me didn’t want to believe him. I was desperate to uncover my past.
 
One day Garrett brought me to the grocery store. Whenever he took me to a store to buy milk, he kept me away from it. I wasn’t allergic or anything, it just seemed that Garrett didn’t want me to see the milk until he approved of it and bought it. But today I planned to find out what he was hiding.
“Stay right here,” Garrett said. He walked towards the counter to pay for the groceries.
As soon as he was out of sight, I went straight for the dairy section. Reaching the milk, I stopped in my tracks.
On the side of each carton was a picture of me. I was younger in the picture, but I knew it had to be me. There was one thing that confused me though: The name below the picture was Colleen Redmoon, not Rachel Cole.
My head was suddenly drowned in thoughts. I thought of the time when Garrett had started to call me the wrong name. He had said, “Col-“ then gulped, looking nervous, and corrected himself. I thought of the time when I was very young and Garrett was handed a flyer with a picture on it, but he crumpled and ripped it up before I could see it. What if Garrett had been lying to me about my life? What if my real parents were still out there, looking for me?
I heard Garrett’s footsteps and rushed back to the spot where he had left me. I smiled innocently as he dragged me out the door.
Throughout the entire ride home, my mind was filled with questions. What’s my real name? Where are my real parents? Is my entire life a lie? But, of course, I couldn’t ask Garrett any of these questions. He would just yell at me, tell me he is my father now, and lock me up in my room. I couldn’t risk that. I had to find out on my own. I decided to run away.
 
The next day, I woke up to the sound of Garrett rushing around the house. He usually didn’t wake up until noon on weekends. I was hoping he would sleep late, giving me time to pack my bags and run away. Losing hope, I walked into the living room. Garrett looked like a tornado had hit him.
“Overslept…” he muttered. “Gotta get to work…”
“Uh, Dad?” I said. “It’s Saturday.”
Garret stopped suddenly. “Oh, yeah!” he said. He dropped everything, walked into his room, and slammed the door.
I heard his snoring only minutes later. I couldn’t help smiling to myself. Garrett’s laziness was my ticket out.
I found a light, easy to carry bag that could hold enough for the trip. I packed food from the cupboards, plenty of clothes, and took some money from the wallet Garrett had left lying around. I took a deep breath and stepped out the door.
The first place I headed for was the grocery store. It wasn’t a long walk, and I enjoyed the fresh morning breeze.
I walked into the store and headed for the dairy section. I looked at the picture again. It was definitely me. Below the picture was the name Colleen Redmoon. If my suspicions were true, that may have been my real name. Below the name was written: “If you have seen this girl or have any information, please contact this number.” I wrote the phone number on my arm and covered it back up with my sleeve. Walking back out the door, I looked around for a payphone.
I knew almost the entire town, and I had never seen a payphone. I knew where to go to get out of town, though. There had to be a payphone somewhere. I walked toward the edge of town, keeping an eye out, looking for payphones I might not have noticed before.
After a while of walking, I stopped to rest under the shade of a large tree. As I reached in my bag to pull out some lunch, someone dropped out of the tree and landed next to me.
“Mind sharing some of that food?” the boy asked. He looked a few years older than me. His clothes were raggedy and ripped. He must have seen me looking surprised, because he said, “I’m Jude. I’m a runaway too.”
I looked at him funny. “How did you know –?”
“Not hard to figure out. You’re walking these streets looking like you’ve got a whole new life ahead of you.” Jude said.
It was just my luck someone had noticed me. At least he was a runaway too. He wouldn’t turn me in. Would he?
I gave him part of a sandwich I had packed. He ate it like he hadn’t eaten in days. Then it came to me. He actually might not have.
“So, what’s your name?” Jude asked.
“Rachel Cole.” I paused, remembering the milk carton. “At least, I thought it was.”
“Huh?”
I told him about everything: Garrett, the milk carton, and everything that led me to run away. Jude listened closely, his eyes filled with amazement. When I was finished, he said, “You won’t get far by yourself. If you wanna find your parents, you’ll need help.”
I looked at him gratefully. “You’ll help me?”
“Sure,” he replied. “My life could use some more adventure.”
 
When we finished eating, we continued toward the edge of town. Once in a while, Jude would point and show me an interesting animal. He seemed to love wildlife. I started to like it too, after hearing his fascinating explanations. I saw the wildlife from a different point of view, and it interested me.
Jude seemed like a nice guy. I knew I could trust him. I could tell he would never turn me in. He told me that his parents had been too hard on him, and he had gotten sick of it. He said that he had run away and had spent the last three months on his own. Everything was going fine until we saw that someone was running at us.
Turning around, I saw Garrett running at me with fire in his eyes. He must have woke up and, realizing I was gone, set out to find me.
I screamed, “Garrett!” and Jude seemed to get the message, seeing that we were being followed. He grabbed my arm and we ran at top speed. Garrett was nearing us. Suddenly, Jude grabbed on to a passing truck and pulled me up. We both hung on for our lives as Garrett got further away. Finally, he gave up and disappeared from sight.
Jude and I hopped off the truck, panting. “Was that the guy who raised you?” Jude asked between gasps.
“Yeah,” I replied. “Lucky he’s a lazy couch potato, or he wouldn’t have given up like that.”
We took drinks from the water bottles I had packed. Garrett didn’t drink much water, but he bought the bottles for me. At least he cared that much.
Hitchhiking on that truck had gotten us pretty close to our destination. We walked on until we reached the next town.
Jude had told me we could just walk into any building and ask to use the phone, but he told me how once he had tried to do that, and he was asked where his parents were. When he couldn’t answer, the owner of the building found out he was a runaway and tried to turn him in to the police. He didn’t want to risk that again.
It was getting late. We decided to stop for the night. We rested under trees and fell asleep.
 
I woke up and stretched. Jude was still asleep, lying under another tree. Looking around, I suddenly realized that it had rained overnight. My bag was dry, but the phone number was washed off my arm. My hopes were destroyed.
Jude woke up. Seeing my arm, his eyes widened.
“What are we gonna do now?” He asked. “Think you can walk up to a cop and say, ‘Hey, I’m a runaway, bring me to my parents’?”
“I don’t know,” I replied. I looked at the nature around me, like Jude loved to do. The world seemed to be waking up with me. The sun was coming up, the birds were singing, and drops of dew covered the leaves of trees. I never really had noticed how beautiful nature really was.
Jude got up, brushed his long, brown hair out of his face and stretched. I did the same.
We packed out bags and walked around. We didn’t know what we were looking for or where to find it. We didn’t even know where we were.
Suddenly, we heard the unmistakable sound of a gunshot. Jude reacted immediately. He pulled me toward the forest and we both started running.
The gunshot came again. This time it was much closer. It was moving toward us.
We heard footsteps behind us and the gun went off yet again, blaring just behind us.
My foot caught a tree root and I stumbled and fell. Jude stopped and tried to help me up. Someone ran up to us and I recognized who it was at once. It was Garrett. He’d found us. And he had a gun.
Instead of aiming it at me, Garrett pointed the gun straight at Jude. He stood up and backed away a bit.
I was terrified. I hadn’t expected Garrett to find us again. I never wanted to endanger Jude, and yet here he was, standing over me with a gun pointed at his chest.
“You’re coming with me,” Garrett said, addressing me but still keeping his eyes locked on Jude. “And you get away from her.”
Jude didn’t move.
“I said get away from her.”
Jude still stayed by me. Garrett cracked his gun.
“Jude…” I said, urging him to move. He didn’t.
Garrett said, “I’m givin’ you one last chance, boy. Step away from her or I’ll pull the trigger.”
Suddenly, Jude lunged forward. Before Garrett could react, he grabbed the gun. I watched in amazement as Jude dodged Garrett’s tackles. Then again, you can’t exactly call Garrett stealthy.
Jude managed to turn the tables on Garrett, pointing the gun at him. I was amazed at his courage. Keeping his eyes on Garrett, he helped me up.
Garrett scowled, but didn’t try to stop us as we started walking out of the forest.
He said, “I’m gonna get you, Rachel. You just wait.”
I grinned a little. “It’s Colleen, isn’t it? Colleen Redmoon.”
He shot me a dirty look. “Not while you’re mine.”
Jude grabbed my arm and led me out of the forest. Garrett didn’t come after us. He knew we still had the weapon. He was no match against Jude, even with the huge age difference.
“Thanks for that,” I said quietly.
“Hey, I ain’t letting that lazy butt keep you from your life.”
I laughed. “Lazy butt” was the perfect description for Garrett.
 
I knew our search was over when I saw the police station. As soon as I saw it, I dashed toward it. Jude ran at my side.
We burst in the door and an officer at a desk looked up. The first things he noticed were our ripped up clothes and, of course, the gun in Jude’s pocket.
“Whoa, where’d you get that weapon, sonny?” The officer asked.
“From the kidnapper.” Jude replied. This got the officer’s attention. We told him everything. We told him about how I was raised by Garret, believing my parents left me to him, seeing the milk carton, the phone number washing off my arm, and everything else, whether it was important information or not.
“Hold on,” the officer said. “What did you say your real last name is?”
“Redmoon, I think,” I replied. The officer typed something into his computer on the desk.
“Yeah, there’s a couple named Redmoon looking for their kid who was kidnapped years ago…”
“That’s you!” Jude said brightly.
 
The officer drove us to a house far away. The house was small, but it looked well taken care of. The officer walked up and knocked on the door. A woman who looked surprisingly like me opened the door.
I said in shock, “Mom?”
The woman gasped. She burst into tears and embraced me. She must have recognized her little daughter at once, even though I had grown up.
“Oh, Colleen! We thought we lost you forever!”
The police officer broke in. “Who was this guy who kidnapped you?”
“Garrett Cole,” I said. I didn’t feel any guilt at turning in my fake dad after I found out the truth. Not to mention he tried to kill Jude.
My mom looked back at me and continued. “He took you from us, and we didn’t think we would ever see you again. What was he like?”
Jude caught on right away. “He’s a lazy turd with no sensitivity.”
I laughed. Jude had perfectly described Garrett again.
A man walked up to the door to see what all the commotion was. My dad. He recognized me right away as well, but he didn’t completely break down like my mom had. He did double back a little upon seeing me, though.
The officer walked back to his car and drove away. I turned to Jude.
“You gonna be okay? You can’t be a runaway forever, you know.”
“Yeah, I know,” he replied. “I’m not sure what I’ll do.”
“Who is this guy again?” My mom asked. Leave it to her to make everything awkward. I told her about Jude. He took it to himself to explain why he ran away. His parents had mistreated him, and he had gotten sick and tired of it.
My mom’s reply shocked me. She said, “If you want a new home, we could adopt you.”
My mouth dropped open. I looked from her, to Jude, then back to her a few times.
Jude considered. Then he admitted, “I always kind of wanted a family who cared.”
 
After that, my life was better than I had ever imagined. I had my real family back, and my parents treated me way better than Garrett had. Jude became my adopted brother. Sure, it felt pretty weird at first, but he actually turned out to be a really good brother. About a week later, we heard that Garrett had been found and arrested.
My life had never been better.


© Copyright 2020 Scarlet398. All rights reserved.

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